Inquest Recommendations Update

The Thunder Bay Police Service efforts to date include:

Recommendation 48 – Grade 8 Visit Program

  • The Service continues to work in partnership with the Nishnawbe-Aski Police Service (“NAPS”) and Wasaya Airlines to allow police officers to visit students in remote communities who will be traveling to Thunder Bay to attend school. These visits are ongoing throughout the year. In 2017, the Visit Program has already completed four (4) visits: (1) Fort Hope on February 2, 2017; (2) Kasabonika on March 2, 2017; (3) Summer Beaver June 1, 2017; and (4) Wunnumin Lake on June 16, 2017.
  • The Service is in the process of selecting two student Ambassadors from the current Indigenous student body in Thunder Bay to assist with the creation of an information video, and provide input with the content of their presentations given to the students in the FN Northern Communities.
  • The student Ambassadors are anticipated to act as role models for students in Thunder Bay and will also participate in presentations that take place during the school term.
  • Discussion are also ongoing between the Service and staff/officials with various First Nations education facilities for a joint project that will have Service officers attend with education authority officials for orientation sessions with students in their home communities.
  • Discussions are also ongoing with NAPS to prepare a joint Service/NAPS presentation.

Recommendation 91 – Working Group

  • Public awareness of Missing Person report procedures are available on the TBPS website
  • Changes were made to our missing person policy prior to the inquest. Since this is an operational policy, we continue to review and revise as appropriate. Officers have been provided up to date training on these procedures.
  • The Service is working with Matawa, DFC, KO, and NNEC on missing persons’ protocols and contact information for their on-call workers. The Police Service has requested a set list of descriptors and identifiers for all students attending Thunder Bay from NorthernFirst Nations Communities.
  • The Working Group for Recommendation #91 had their initial meeting, where Terms of Reference were presented for discussion. Next meeting is scheduled for week of July 10. TBPS is on this Working Group.
  • The Service utilizes social media as one of the many tools used in missing person investigations.
  • Press releases are created by the TBPS in consideration of the specific circumstances of each individual investigation. The working group still needs to consider best practices for media releases.
  • NAN Legal Services has been utilized as a liaison to assist persons who have challenges or fears in their dealings with police.
  • Walk a Mile training continues for members of the TBPS. Over 75% of our members have received this training.
  • The Service’s Training Unit provides the Police Services Board with an annual report summarizing training undertaken by our members.

Recommendation 94 – Multilingual Joint Search Protocol

  • Members of the Service within the Working Group for Recommendation #94, have created a comprehensive list of factors to consider in preparing this joint protocol. The list has been forwarded to NAN members of the Working Group for review and feedback. A Working Group meeting has been scheduled for July 2017, for further discussion of the list.
  • The Service has already provided personal safety training to members of the Bear Clan Patrol which is a citizen’s group that conducts foot patrols in Thunder Bay to promote safety within the community.
  • The Community Services Branch of the Service is working with NAN to organize joint patrols between the Service and the Bear Clan.

Recommendation 96 – Joint Task Force with LCBO to Deter Underage Drinking

  • The Service and the LCBO have formed a working task force to look at the issue of “runners” who are second party purchasers and are providing alcohol to minors.
  • This Project Plan is still active, with officers from Community Services Branch and Uniform Patrol working together to identify second party purchasers, and lay appropriate charges. The plan also features a reporting mechanism to monitor overall progress and any patterns or findings that are identified.

Recommendation 97 – Public Campaign to Deter Second Party Purchases of Alcohol

  • The Service/LCBO working task force referenced in recommendation #96 is also working in partnership to discuss possible public awareness campaigns. The LCBO is currently undertaking a two-phase campaign: (1) In or around June 2017 - creation and placement of posters within LCBO stores focusing on the legal consequences for second party purchasers; and (2) In or September 2017 - launching a video intended for social media circulation. The task force is meeting June 21 to review draft protocols for reporting incidents to police, as well as LCBO’s awareness campaign (posters).

Recommendation 115 – Safety Audit of  River Areas

  • Since the fall of 2016, the Service conducts focused daily foot patrols along city waterways and recreational trails which have been previously identified as high risk areas.
  • In November 2016, a Riverway/Floodway Monitoring Project was implemented by the Service’s Uniform Patrol Branch. A revised list of high risk areas was prepared in consultation with numerous community organizations.
  • The project requires officers to conduct three foot patrols per day of high risk areas. If officers encounter persons in an intoxicated state or consuming alcohol, appropriate action will be taken.
  • The plan includes a reporting mechanism that will be reviewed on a regular basis to track, among other things, the number of calls for service and numbers of intoxicated persons located in the high risk areas.
  • In the week of May 15, 2017, a safety audit was conducted in collaboration with the City of Thunder Bay Safety Audit Committee. This Committee includes members of the Service. The above mentioned high risk areas remained the focal points for the audit. A safety and security specialist was hired to conduct the audits and has provided a preliminary report. The consultant’s full report can be found here. 


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